Hippo Pattern

Pattern for a Paper Mache

Wall Sculpture


Hippo Pattern

Create a life-like hippo, wrinkles and all.

You’ll feel like you’re on an African safari every time you see him.

The hippo is easy to make with this downloadable, printable pattern, and the full instructions that come with it.

How to Make Your Hippo Wall Sculpture:

Print the hippo pattern and tape it together
Print the pattern pieces, put them on cardboard, and tape them together.
Add wrinkles to your hippo
Add foam eyeballs and crumpled foil to make wrinkles.
Cover your hippo with paper mache.
Add one layer of paper mache or paper mache clay to your hippo.
Paint your hippo.
Use acrylic paint to bring your hippo to life.

Finished size: About 14 inches (35.56 cm) high, 11 inches (27.94 cm) wide and 5 inches (12.7 cm) deep.

My downloadable PDF Patterns come with full instructions.

There’s no waiting for your pattern to arrive, and no shipping costs, so you can start on your project right away.

Click here if you’d like to know more about how the patterns are delivered. (If you’ll be saving your pattern to and iPhone or iPad, they do tend to hide your files. You can scroll down this page to see how to find them.)

And remember – if you have any problems downloading your files or putting your pattern together, just let me know. I’m always happy to help.  😀

Hippo Pattern
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Watch the video below to see how the pattern is taped together:

The downloadable pattern also includes screen shots of every piece to show you how to put the pattern together. Just save the pattern to your device so you’ll always have access to it.

After the pattern is taped together can cover it with paper strips and paste or paper mache clay – or use them both, like I did. You can find the paste recipe here, and the recipe for paper mache clay here.

Finishing Your Hippo Sculpture:

In the video below you can see how I finished the hippo you see in the photos above. However, there are a lot of different ways you can do it, and every real hippo looks different – just like people do. Watch the video to get some ideas, and then grab your brushes and get started!

Although I recommend acrylic paints for paper mache, and the artist in this video used watercolor, you might want to watch his video, too, for some ideas.

To make this paper mache hippo sculpture you will need:

  • Printer
  • Copy paper or full-sheet labels
  • Glue stick if using copy paper for pattern
  • Cardboard from 2 standard-sized cereal boxes
  • Pieces of corrugated cardboard from one or more shipping boxes
  • Knife and sharp scissors for cutting cardboard
  • Tape, both clear plastic tape and masking tape
  • 1.5” Styrofoam ball, cut in half
  • Aluminum foil
  • Glue gun (or use masking tape instead)
  • Paper strips and paste or paper mache clay (see first video above)
  • Acrylic gesso or latex primer
  • Acrylic paint and matte varnish

*You can find recipes for paper mache paste and paper mache clay in the Recipes tab at the top of this site.

Helpful links:

Hippo Pattern
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Do you have a question or need help with your pattern?

If you have a question about putting your pattern together or painting it, leave a comment below or on the Daily Sculptors page. I read all comments and answer them as soon as I can, usually within a few hours. Some of my readers might ideas for you, too — we have a very supportive community on this site.

Hippo Pattern

Hippos Made with This Pattern:

12 thoughts on “Hippo Pattern”

  1. If you were to mach this hippo’s mask with it’s respective body, what dimensions would you say the body would have?
    Thank you!

    • Gosh – I don’t know. The mask wasn’t really designed to be an entire head, but as a fairly flat sculpture to hang on a wall. I think you could look at a hippo photo and measure the head, then the body without the head, and determine what percentage of the head/body measurements. I haven’t done that, though. And you’d still have to sculpt the bottom of his head and jaw. Have you seen my video about how to draw a flat armature to use on the inside of a sculpture that you make from scratch?

  2. That is amazing to watch. I’ve been using your patterns for 10 years, and how you ever made the pattern for this face is a miracle! I LOVE the brown paper look. Thank you.


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